Played at Old Harlow Cricket Ground
Report by Steve Hamilton
This was our first visit to the lavish home of Netteswell & Burnt
Mill in Harlow. It was a gloomy and cloudy day with rain expected.
After winning the toss seven games in succession this season we
finally called it wrong and the opposition put us into the field.
We were up against an extremely powerful batting line up, packed
with Herts & Essex league players.
After six overs we won our
first breakthrough when Fahim Pathan at point caught Sykes off the
bowling of Asad for 17.
Next wicket to fall was their captain
Flewers. He had struggled throughout his innings with Waseem beating
his bat numerous times. Waseem finally delivering a perfect yorker
hitting the base of middle stump to remove him for 7.
down was the dangerous Baig, dismissed for 42 after he gave an
inside edge off the bowling of Syed Shah. Our keeper Jakaria held a
spectacular catch low to the ground. Syed was playing his first
fixture for over 2 years and is still lethal as ever!
14 overs they had reached 74-3. With their main batsman Baig gone,
we thought we would comfortably run through their middle order. But
that was not to be the case, as Farooq and Abubaker put on 85 for a
fourth wicket partnership.
Eventually, Azaz produced an
unplayable delivery that was too good for Abubaker, who nicked it
behind for Jakaria to take another superb catch, dismissing the
batter for 26.
At the 25-over stage the opposition were
159-4. They were chirpy and confident of reaching a sizeable total.
Azaz then fired an inviting ball that tempted Farooq into
hitting out, only for it to fall into the bucket hands of Junaid. He
came running in from deep mid-wicket, seized the ball and sent
Farooq back to the pavilion after an exhilarating 61.
174-5 off 27 overs, Netteswell began to hit out. Myself and Junaid
suffered some special treatment as Fist and Burton hit a rapid 80
runs for a 6th wicket partnership in under eight overs.
came on at the end to take two quick wickets. First was Burton for
42, caught and bowled, then Close, who was stumped for a duck. Fist
remained unbeaten on 38 and Netteswell & Burnt Mill reached a very
satisfactory total of 254-7 off 35 overs.
Now we really had
to show some cojones as we have not had an opportunity to chase down
a sizeable total this season and we were up against a quality side.
Jakaria only faced seven balls but got us to a flyer. He hit
2,4,6,4,4,4 - a total of 24 – before being caught. Following that
entertaining start, we hit a rocky patch and slowed to 68-3 off 11
But then things started to turn in our favour.
Junaid, on a duck, was dropped at first slip! This was probably the
turning point of the match, as Junaid went on to score an unbeaten
Lead run-scorer this season Azaz hit a rapid 34,
including seven fours, and shared a 4th wicket partnership with
Junaid blasting 62 in six overs.
Waseem and Junaid us took
over the winning post in swashbuckling style and shared a 5th wicket
partnership of 131 in just 9.1 overs!!
Both batters survived
unbeaten. Junaid’s 85 included seventeen fours, while Waseem reached
66 including two sixes and ten fours.
It was a great advert
for cricket. More than 500 runs were scored in the day. The game was
played in good spirit and we were treated with top-class
hospitality. Netteswell have already pencilled in a date for a
return fixture for next season.